US track and field athlete. He won nine gold medals and one silver in four successive Olympic Games. At the 1984 Olympic Games he equalled the performance of Jesse Owens, winning gold medals in the 100 and 200 metres, 400-metre relay, and long jump. He officially ended his career in 1997 at the age of 36. In November 1999 he was voted ‘Sportsman of the Century’ by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and in December 1999 the US magazine Sports Illustrated named him the ‘Best Olympian of the 20th Century’.
Olympic Games gold 100 metres 1984, 1988; gold 200 metres 1984; gold 4 × 100-metre relay 1984, 1992; gold long jump 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996; silver 200 metres 1988
World Championships gold 100 metres 1983, 1991; gold 4 × 100-metre relay 1983, 1987, 1991; gold long jump 1983, 1987; silver long jump 1991
World Cup gold long jump 1981
IAAF Male Athlete of the Year 1988, 1991
IOC Sportsman of the Century awarded 1999
In the 1988 Olympics, Lewis repeated his golds in the 100 metres and long jump, and won a silver in the 200 metres. Although in the 1992 Olympics he failed to make the USA's 100-metre and 200-metre squads, he repeated his success in the long jump and anchored the USA's record-breaking 400-metre relay team. He won the long jump gold medal at the Atlantic Olympics. It was his fourth consecutive long jump title and his ninth gold medal in all. Lewis is only the fifth person to win gold medals at four consecutive Olympics and the first track and field athlete since US discus thrower, Al Oerter (1956–1968) to do so. His nine gold medals equalled the achievement of the great Finnish athlete Paavo Nurmi.